Creepypasta of the Week: “Annora Petrova”

Previously: “Gamer.”

A creation of One Page Wonder’s Stories to Read Alone at Night, “Annora Petrova” (which is technically just called “Annora”) is a familiar sort of tale; it’s reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.
A few things set “Annora Petrova” apart, however: First, the titular character doesn’t exactly strike a bargain; and second — and perhaps most notably — the story updates the conceit for the modern age in the most apt way possible: It’s a sort of cautionary tale about Googling yourself.

Read more "Creepypasta of the Week: “Annora Petrova”"

Is “Dear David” Real? An Examination Of Twitter’s New Favorite Haunting

Previously: How To Be A Nanny In A Haunted House.

Like the rest of the internet, I’m now extremely invested in seeing how the Dear David story develops — and conveniently, Ellis has created a Storify about it that he’s updating as he goes. But I’m not necessarily interested in taking it at face value; I’m interested in seeing exactly what about the story can be explained rationally, and what can’t be. So let’s take a look, shall we?

Read more "Is “Dear David” Real? An Examination Of Twitter’s New Favorite Haunting"

A Preview Of TGIMM’s Patreon-Exclusive Newsletter (Become A Patron For More!)

Want access to an exclusive newsletter full of weird, spooky, and otherwise strange and unusual stories, games, and more? If you become a Patreon supporter for The Ghost In My Machine at the “Raven Man” tier level, that’s exactly what you’ll get. In case you’re curious about what these newsletters are like, I’ve put together a preview joining some highlights from previous editions — and if you want more, there’s plenty where it all came from. I didn’t name it “TGIMM’s Collection Of Curated Curiosities” for nothing.

Read more "A Preview Of TGIMM’s Patreon-Exclusive Newsletter (Become A Patron For More!)"

For A Good Time, Call 801-820-0263

Previously: Help Me, Help Me, Susie’s Dying.

Here’s a fun thing to try the next time you feel like tempting fate: Call the phone number 801-820-0263. At first, you’ll just hear silence. If you wait a few seconds, though, you’ll begin to hear some noise — something which sounds almost ethereal, beautiful in a way. Overlaid on top of these ethereal sounds, you’ll hear a male voice speaking a series of one-digit numbers. Don’t get too comfortable, though; the soundscape will change abruptly in short order, and what it changes to isn’t pretty. An intense, jarring, sharp sort of noise some have likened to the sound of a chainsaw revving up will cut in, followed by what sounds, curiously, like a chorus of male voices recreating that same noise. Then there’s a brief beep — the sort that usually signifies when an answering machine recording has ended, prompting the caller to leave a message.

And then, silence.

Read more "For A Good Time, Call 801-820-0263"

Creepypasta of the Week: “Gamer”

Previously: “Bedtime.”

R.D. Ovenfriend’s “Gamer” is a creepypasta not in the classic sense — that is, something which has been copied and pasted time and time again, with little to no information available about its original author — but in the modern one: It’s a piece of horror fiction originally published on the internet. In this case, it hails from the NoSleep subreddit, where it (rightfully, I think) won the title of Best Monthly Winner of 2014. 

What makes it so successful is its grounding in reality: In essence, it’s a story about the Milgram experiments. You’re probably already familiar with Stanley Milgram’s study about the extremes people will go to when they’re “just following orders”; conducted in 1961 and published in 1963, it basically explained the rise of fascism and World War II, showing that people are capable of evilness — even if they don’t think they’re being evil. All it takes is an authority figure to coax people to do terrible things.

Read more "Creepypasta of the Week: “Gamer”"

Creepy Wikipedia: Anthropodermic Bibliopegy — Or, The Practice Of Binding Books In Human Skin

Previously: Christine and Lea Papin

Books can be bound in any number of materials: Cloth, wood, leather made from the skin of cows or other livestock, velum, you name it. Anthropodermic bibliopegy, however, is perhaps the most unusual of the bunch; it’s the practice of binding books in human skin.

Read more "Creepy Wikipedia: Anthropodermic Bibliopegy — Or, The Practice Of Binding Books In Human Skin"

Analysis: ‘Tattletail,’ Why Mama Was Banned, And The Hellishness Of Nostalgia

Previously: Petscop.

There’s a special kind of horror that draws on our sense of nostalgia — horror that takes the things we loved the most as kids, that made us feel safe and loved, and turns those things on their heads, utterly destroying any good feeling we might have associated with them. That’s what the video game Tattletail capitalizes on — although I’d actually argue that its inspiration was plenty scary all on its own. Either way, though, this little nostalgia-based horror game is extraordinarily clever in its storytelling; it invites us not only to survive the attacks of a dangerous, banned toy known as Mama Tattletail, but perhaps more importantly, to look deeper in order to figure out why Mama Tattletail was banned and what happened prior to the game in the first place.

I’ve got a pretty solid theory about all that. It took a lot of research and a lot of thinking, but here’s what I’ve got. And you guys? This game is kind of genius.

Read more "Analysis: ‘Tattletail,’ Why Mama Was Banned, And The Hellishness Of Nostalgia"